Today, Holley is associated mostly with performance carburetors but in fact Holley carbs have been used on most American car makes at one time or another. In 1957 Holley introduced the modular series of carburetors starting with the Holley 4150 four barrel and 2300 two barrel. These are the ubiquitous Holley 4 barrels that are under muscle car hoods everywhere today and gave rise to Holley’s performance image.
George M. Holley combined a gasoline engine with a bicycle frame in 1896 to make the first American motorcycle, and a year later, at the age of 19, built a 3 wheel car with a carburetor of his own design. Around 1899 George and his brother Earl established the Holley Brothers Company. In 1904 they built the carburetor for the curved-dash Oldsmobile (model H) and by 1906 they were beginning to specialize in carburetors, and soon were supplying large numbers of carbs to Ford. The Ford Model A Holley carburetor holds the record for the most carbs of one kind produced – sixteen million.
The Ford Era
Holley built updraft carburetors for Model T’s (model NH) and Model A’s. In 1938, Holley took over production of the Chandler-Groves two barrel carburetor known variously as the ’94’ (for the venturi area of 0.94 inches, cast into the float bowl of some carbs), AA-1 or later, the model 2100. Many of these have the Ford script on the bowl, but are otherwise the same. These were used on flathead V-8’s and early Y-blocks until 1957, and continued in production in the 2110 version into the 1970s, with the last being the Bugspray version for the VW.
Holley 1901 FFG governed carburetor
After the war, Holley developed the ‘concentric’ series of carburetors which used a float bowl suspended above the throttle body – hence the nickname of ‘teapot’. The first of these was the unusual side air inlet 885FFC carburetor used on the 49-51 Mercury, followed by the 1901 model in 1952 on Mercury police engines.
Four barrel carburetors started appearing in the early 1950s. Stromberg won the honor of the first four barrel, the model 4A in 1952 on Buicks. Holley followed up in 1953 with the 370 cfm model 2140 concentric carburetor – a four barrel version of the 1901 first used on the 1953 Lincoln. The design was refined in 1955 into the model 4000, another 370 cfm carburetor first used on the new 292 Y-block. Various Fords used Holley 4000s until 1957, the last application being the dual 4 bbl T-Bird set up. By 1957 Holley had a new, cutting edge design in the 4150 modular series, but two of these wouldn’t fit on the manifold in the T-Bird, hence one more year of Teapot use.
However, Teapots (concentric) carburetors continued in production for a long time, with the 2140 being used on International trucks until 1975. Model 1901s were built for use on VW or Porsche engines until the late 70s. Because of the float bowl design, the carburetors work well on severe inclines, which is one of the reasons they were used on various military vehicles.
The 4150 was a radical new design that could be adapted to multiple configurations by changing the combination of float bowls, metering blocks and main bodies. The 2 barrel version is the 2300.
First used on the 1957 312 engine, the 4150 was used on most makes at one time or another and has been adapted into many different versions, including governed versions on trucks. The first models used a vacuum operated diaphragm to open the secondary throttle plates. Mechanical secondary linkages were first used on Chryslers in 1959. Double pumpers with an accelerator pump on both the primary and secondary bores have mechanically operated secondaries and were introduced in 1967 on Chevrolet cars.
The model 4160 is similar but uses a metering plate with fixed metering orifices instead of the 4150’s secondary metering block with removable jets. Both the 4150 and 4160 use the same squarebore flange, which is 5.160″ wide by 5.625″ long on the bolt spacing. The 3160 was an unusual three barrel carburetor
Spreadbore model 4165 and 4175 carbs were introduced in 1971 as replacements for Rochester Quadrajets and other spreadbore flange carburetors (where the secondaries are larger than the primaries). The spreadbore flange is 4.25″ wide by 5.625″ long.
A large race-only version, the 4500 was introduced in 1969 for use in NASCAR.
Modular Carburetors – Stock
The two barrel version, model 2300, was introduced in 1957 on the 272 and 292 engines in cars and trucks, the same year as the 4150 appeared (see above). Model 2300, 4150 and 4160 carburetors were used extensively on passenger vehicles through the 1970s. The model 2300 was used in the factory Six Pack (Mopar) or Tri-Power (Chevy) set ups, with the center carburetor having an idle and choke circuits and a metering block, and the outer carbs being vacuum or mechanically operated secondaries.
Governed versions for medium and heavy trucks were the 2300G, 4150G, 4150MG and 4150EG. 4150EG models were for electronic governors as opposed to the ‘G’ models which were for mechanical (centrifugal) governors.
In the late 70s a new series of modular carburetors were introduced with tighter emissions controls. These were the 2380EG, 4180 and 4180EG and 4190EG. These can be distinguished from other modular carbs because the idle mixture screw are in the throttle body instead of in the metering block. Notably, the 4380 was used on Ford Mustangs and pickup trucks with the 351HO engine in the 1980s, as well as 460 CID engines in motorhomes. Another emissions version was the 4152EG, used until 1990 on GM medium duty trucks with the 366 and 427 CID motors. The 4190EG and the 2380EG were the last carburetors used on US-built trucks, on Ford 370 and 429 truck motors in 1991.
|2300||2||large 2 barrel||–|
|2380||2||large 2 barrel||–||two barrel version of 4180|
|4152||4||square||block||improved emissions version of 4150|
|4180||4||square||plate||plates/blocks and other components not interchangeable with other series|
|4190||4||square||plate||improved emissions version of 4180|
|4360||4||spread||NA||economy Q-Jet replacement with small secondaries|
Flanges (center to center bolt spacing, width X length):
large 2 barrel: 5.125″ X 3.500″
square bore: 5.160″ X 5.625″
spread bore: 4.250″ X 5.625″
Dominator: 5.375″ X 5.375″
Carburetors Derived From the Model 2100 (AA-1, ’94’) Design
Several carburetors came from the basic design of the Chandler-Groves carburetor that Holley began producing for Ford in 1938.
The model 847 was a single barrel downdraft carburetor used on Ford 6 cylinder cars and trucks. The smaller size, 847-F and 847-FS was used on Ford six cylinder passenger cars and trucks (other than cab-over-engine) from 1941 to 1950. The T-847-HGC was a larger version used on the 1948-1950 six cylinder Ford bus and was equipped with a governor.
Model 897 was a still larger version designed for large six cylinder engines such as the 254 cubic inch Ford truck engine.
The AA-1G and 852FFG were governed two barrel versions. They were larger and had heavy duty features like bearings on the throttle shafts and a cast iron airhorn. The two are similar but few parts interchange. These were used on various medium and heavy trucks into the 1970s.
The original AA-1 used a three-bolt flange on the flathead Ford. Later Y-block 2100 models had a conventional four-bolt flange, as did the 2110 models.
Ford COE trucks used an updraft carburetor, the model 859, because an updraft carburetor standing on top the manifold would have been too tall to clear the tilt cab.
The Holley Model 1970 was a carburetor used on farm and industrial applications, notably 3 cylinder Ford tractors.
1900-Series One Barrels
While the 1901 was in the teapot series, the other carbs with this numbering were completely unrelated.
The model 1904 was a brand-new 1 barrel introduced in 1952 on 6 cylinder Fords and used extensively on Ford and IHC six cylinders into the 1960s and Ford industrial applications into the 1970s. The 1904 was notable because it was shorter than previous one barrels, allowing for lower hood lines. An interesting variation was the Visi-Flow carburetor which featured a glass float bowl. The model 1960 was very similar to the 1904 but with an unusual booster venturi insert in the choke plate. The 1908 was very similar to the 1904 except that it had a rectangular choke plate instead of the round one in the 1904 and 1960.
Introduced in 1962, the Holley 1909 was an unrelated, simplified economy model used on smaller 6 cylinder engines by Ford and AMC during the 1960s.
The 1920 was another simplified 1 barrel carburetor introduced in 1960 that was used in various versions on Kasier/Willys Jeeps, a few Chevrolets and primarily Chrysler 6 slant 6 engines into the 1970s. Unlike the earlier 1904, it has an integral throttle body, and consists of two main castings, the main body and the float bowl. This carburetor is unusual in that the entire assembly is made of aluminum, but the main body is treated with an Iridite coating that makes it look green like a chromated zinc bodied carburetor.
The model 1931 was a small 1 bbl with an unusual front fuel inlet in the float bowl; it was used on AMC products.
The 1940 and 1945 were entirely new designs introduced in the late 1960s and used into the 1980s on Ford and Chrysler applications. The model 6145 is a feedback (computer controlled) version used in the 1980s on Ford 4 cylinders and Chrysler Slant 6 engines. After production of 1904s ceased in the 1970s, many Ford industrial engines were equipped with model 1940 carburetors. The main difference between the 1940 and 1945 is in the fuel enrichment system, so they are difficult to distinguish externally.
2200-Series Two Barrels
The first of these was the 2209 used on 1965-1967 AMC and Jeeps, including the 289 V-8. It is a two barrel version of the 1909. The design was revised to form the 2210/2245 series. The 2210 and 2245 differ internally in the power valve system, but are otherwise very similar. These were used mostly on Chrysler products from 1971-1983 and are most commonly found on 360 CID engines and some 400s.
5200-Series Two Barrels
The 5200, 5210 and 5220 were made by Holley under license from Weber (Italy) starting in 1970. These are staged two barrel carburetors where the primary side operates at idle and part throttle and the secondary side opens as the throttle is opened further. Secondary opening is either mechanical or vacuum operated. The 5200 was first built in the US in 1970 for use on the 1971 Pinto. They are marked as Autolite or Motorcraft as well as Holley. This series was used into the mid-1980s on various 4 cylinder engines, including Ford, Chrysler and Chevrolet (notably the Chevette).
The 6510 and 6520 were feedback (computer controlled) versions which incorporated a mixture-control solenoid and were used starting in 1980 on California and in 1981 Federal emissions cars. Non-feedback versions were still used after this in Canada and elsewhere.
Holley Master List
The Carburetor Doctor website at https://carbkitsource.com/numbers/Holley/index.html has a master list of all Holley carburetor numbers up to the early 1980s, with applications, kit and part listings. For example:
|List Number||Application||OEM Number||Carburetor Kit||Brass Float||Nitrophyl Float||Choke Pull Off||Choke Thermostat||Service Manual|
|R-3608A||1966 Chevelle, 396 Eng. (360 H.P.) Auto. Trans.||CK9||F054||CM009|
|R-3609A||1966 Chevelle, 396 Eng. (360 H.P.) Std. Trans.||CK9||F054||CM009|
|R-3613A||1966 Chevelle, 396 Eng. (375 H.P.)||3893229||CK44||F007|